jdalberta1

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About jdalberta1

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    saddle restoration
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    leather craft
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  1. My 5 year old gelding quarter draft cross has bumps under his skin on the off side. I got him late last fall and at that time he had a papable mass about 1/3 the size of a new pencil erasure just below the skin. It is located where a typical western saddle tree's end point bottom edge would contact his flank/loin. It has not changed at all since last October . A new slightly smaller bump has shown up in the meantime located again on the off side this time in the wither pocket directly below the front most point of a tree. He was duded last summer and I suspect poor saddle fit or padding at that time may be a contributing factor. My current saddle fits him not perfectly but does not pinch or place any noticeable pressure in either of the bump locations. He was riden bareback by his original owner. Lack of worming may also factor in? We done about 40 rides together thus far all mountain trail short duration 1 to 4 hrs. I use a 3/4 wool felt and a 6 lb wool saddle blanket doubled as padding. He shows no other signs of poor health. Anyone able to shed some light? Thanks JD
  2. jdalberta1

    Medicine Bags

    Here's a link to a doctoring bag sold in Alberta from Frontier Western Saddlery. Maybe you can glean a few details from it. Sure sounds as though Bruce has been around this block a few times. http://www.westernshop.com/store/product/40924/Cowboy--Dr.-Bag/
  3. jdalberta1

    Breast Collar Set Ups

    Well thanks for all the info so far. Not surprisingly there are a diverse set of opinions coming in and I like that. As with most internet information the answer sought is often found by shifting through the wheat and chafe so to speak and taking the middle road. Again my answer is focused on riding in primarily mountainous terrain so flatish country breast collar usage doesn't factor in so much...I think? I personally try to avoid overuse of tack and gimicks preferring a clean uncluttered rig. Having said that let me flesh out my particular situation so that folks with similar experiences can hopefully continue to share in this exchange. In packing situations I`ve always run by necessity breastcollars and britchin'. For riding once in a while a crupper will go on a saddlehorse but not unless the snug rear cinch doesn't do the job. So that boils down mainly to saddle fit and conformation issues in my experience thus far anyway. A few key points: The horse I currently am riding is a 16.2 Morgan/Belgian cross with slightly uphill conformation. He's a fat fella this winter, low withered and barrelly. My saddle leaves even sweat marks with no signs of bridging or point loading. Without a breastcollar It does move back on uphills. The saddlebags are large which adds up to a rig that weighs around 45lbs. The padding set up for this guy is a 1" felt pad under a thin single layer wool blanket. I`ll try out a roping collar to see how that compares. I`m curious to see how that style of breast collar with the high attachment points will work on hills. Could anyone explain the difference between the old school martingale breast collar which buckles over the the neck and attaches to the saddle up high via a small tug on either side and your typical roping collar which does not go over the neck but also attaches high on or nere the pommel? I like the look of the way those old martingales sit. Go figure? My understanding thus far is that high attachment points are in general designed for horn stability where as low attachment is better suited to pulling or hill work. Chances are I`ll be riding more typically conformed quarter horse types this spring and summer so i`m hoping that once I can settle on the breast collar esign that works for hill riding , I`ll be able to use it on both draft crosses and smaller quarter horse types...seems reasonable. Here's a pic of the horse and tripping breast colllar I`m using right now. I just added a doubled over vertical strip of latigo with 1" D's for a cinch connector and tie down if ever need. So far I haven't used the breast collar/front cinch connector but I`ll try this the next ride so as to judge it's effectiveness in keeping the collar position level and keeping the esophagus unrestricted on uphills. Hopefully a riding partner will be able to take a few shots so all this is a little less subjective. Please keep the viewpoints coming folks. I really appreciate you sharing your hard won insights. The longer I can consider myself a green rider looking for answers the longer I`ll remain open to learning. Is there such a thing as an overly unoppionated horseperson?
  4. jdalberta1

    Breast Collar Set Ups

    Then again I could be entirely wrong How much relief does your tripping collar have at center? Maybe I should build one with more relief because other than that I still prefer a tripping style to a roping/pulling style breast collar. Please tell me what you think of this set up as pictured. I started that days ride with a three inches of slack at the windpipe but it looks to be riding too high here. Perhaps slackening the neck keeper would do the trick.
  5. jdalberta1

    Breast Collar Set Ups

    I know of one other person who attaches the tugs directly to the latigo. In my mind this places the pull too low for a couple of reasons. This set up requires very long tugs that can create a hazard in brush especially when the horse bends. Potential musculoskeletal interference may be an issue as well. Thirdly such a low attachment point places strain on the often less than robust underjocky leather used to join the cinch D ring to the tree. The intended directional pull of this critical piece is downward at the girth not forwards. It`ll work but it's less than ideal in the long term. Kinda like attaching a trailer ball hitch to a truck fender instead of the frame.
  6. jdalberta1

    Breast Collar Set Ups

    Good reply thanks Hooligan. We're pretty much like minded so far.You're correct in that my rigging is not drop plated but rather double D ringed in 7/8 position. Yeah I've seen a lot of IMHO overly skinny breast collars attached at the cinch D being used in steep terrain. That can't be comfortable for the horse on long uphills and often restrict the windpipe. Here's an example of the type of breastcollar I use. Doing a bit of web surfing reveals that this type of breast collar is as you pointed out more frequently called a tripping collar: http://leatherworker.net/forum/uploads/monthly_02_2010/post-8118-12671351608_thumb.jpg Note that it's attached to the cinch D but appears to be too tight and is placed too high on the breast threatens to restrict the windpipe. The saddle may have been slipped back on that long uphill climb but it doesn't appear to be way back. The use of over the neck keeper I find necessary because of the tendency for a tripping collar to slip too low on the breast and shoulder when adjusted properly with about 2" or 3" of slack on level terrain. Raising the saddle attachment point typically tilts tripping collars too causing it to dig in on uphills. I`m toying with adding 1" D's to my front bars but am not yet sure about placement. Most comercial saddles rig there Breast collar D's quite high either just below the gullet or close by the front concho. That a good set up for roping and ranch work but not ideal for trail riding as you've pointed out. I`m leaning towards a fairly low attachment back to the bar tips mid point. Any thoughts on a tripper with double tug strap per side set up? Having a high and low pull direction may give the saddle a broader stability range say to cover things like a hard sideways dally pull like when ponying or roping as well as for hill climbing? I always try and keep my rear cinch snug and vertical or slightly to the rear on a saddle horse.
  7. Following not so hard on the heels of the saddle tree bar tip/shoulder clearance discussion I`d like to begin a thread on breast collar design and attachment points. Acknowledging that use of any particular breast collar will depend amongst other things on the intended riding discipline, terrain, saddle design and personal preferences I'd like to focus this discussion at least for now on western trail riding using quarter horse type and draft crosses. I ride a modified association saddle and use a packer style breast collar with an added over the neck support strap. My breast collar attaches to the saddle via the 7/8 position D cinch ring. Here's a link to the breast collar type I`m refering to: http://www.sawtoothsaddle.com/large-photo.php?imageName=218.jpg&subFolder=store This saddle gets used for mainly for trail riding, packing and guiding in mountainous terrain. A while back local long time packers and guides got me started using a packer style breast collar of varying widths. One concern that seems to reoccur is the attachment point. Attaching off the cinch D ring vs a 1" D attached somewhere on the front bar. Some folks even suggest attaching below the traditional D cinch ring directly to the latigo. This to me is too low as well as sloppy. Do you folks have any insights regarding shoulder interaction with various attachment points for this type of breast collar? The growing trend of more western saddles having flat plate dropped rigging may in part explain the prevalence of pull style yoke breastcollars designed for pommel or horn attachment. This set up however isn't used so much for mountain riding. My question right now is targeted to avoiding shoulder interference in low slung breast collar that come over the scapula as opposed to crossing above it.
  8. Looking around at different tap designs and have yet to see one that fits the bill. My summer stirrups are 3 1/2" rawhide bound Bell style which I intend to fit to whatever tap design best suit. Stirrup leathers are turned. I could use taps mainly for wet spring conditions were riding in stirrup height brush routinely soaking my boots. Not sure about keeping the taps on all summer so a design that allows reasonably quick installation and removal would be great. The basic wrap around endurance style is a bit plain for my taste and doesn't suit my modified Association hign cantel ranch saddle. Clean design with minimum weight and snag potential are design priorities, Bullnose or Monkey nose is most likely starting point. Not having to use attachment screws is prefered, Maybe incorporating my stirrup leather keeper for attaching the top will work along with latigo strings on either side of the tread. Any ideas or photos would be greatly appreciated.
  9. jdalberta1

    cowboy boot care

    As a trail guide in Alberta constant exposure to horse urine and poop is eating mine and everyone else's boots at a costly rate. If anyone could share a tried and true means of dealing with this problem I`d appreciate it. I`m going to mount up some boot brushes near the corrals sorta like truckers install on their running boards for daily boot maintenance. Once a week washing, drying, reconditioning and oiling is about all I can think of at the moment. I`m thinking it`s the ammonia mostly that`s to blame? There must be a easy means of treating leather to neutralize the Ph or whatever is causing this problem. Maybe a solution in a spray or squirt bottle applied at days end once the boots have been kicked through a brush a few times. Soles delaminate, uppers crack and separate, stitching dematerializes so fast that a decent pair of boots are toast within a matter of a season at best.
  10. OK from the start I like to thank everyone on this forum who has constructively shared their experience concerning leatherworking and specifically saddlemaking. As a newbie to the intracacies of saddle design and repair the information I`ve gleaned from this site is invaluable. The horse I was riding last summer and am hoping to buy soon is a 16h quarter horse gelding on the wide side. The saddle that his owner and I use is 7 1/2" wide at the gullet, 93 degree, 22 1/2" bar moderate production quality, ralide tree...say no more. It seems to fit him OK given how wide he is at the withers. If I buy him I`ll be looking for my own saddle for him. I`ve got a 1960`s better quality Textan that I`m part way through restoring. Without having tried it on him yet my gut tells me it`s too tight up front at 6 1/2" wide. Lacking sufficient flare up front and too steep in the rear bars. The skirts have been removed so that new shearling can be installed and I`ll check the tree fit next week when I go visit him at his winter pasture. In Stolman`s books mention is made of skived stripes placed between treebars and skirting. This is of course a less than ideal "fix"... a way of using a saddle who`s tree does not in and of itself fit properly. I`m probably going to catch hell for this but what the hell if it works? Just so long as it takes into account and doesn`t wreck the rock, twist, bar angle, relief ect. Thoughts?? Any body tried this?? I`ve heard that quarter horse conformation has changed significantly since the sixty`s as a result of breeding;Doc Bar et al. I`d be interested in finding out more about this since so many folks still use saddle from that era. There is one saddlery in my area that offers a saddle fitting service which uses plastic/fiberglass vacuum molds of the various tree designs that their production saddle maker use. The molds conform very closely if not exactly to the shape of the underside of the tree. I pulled their stack of molds apart and went through them and kinda liked the concept. Allowing for proper skirt blocking, shearling thickness, lack of saddle mass etc this mold idea initially seems to be a reasonable means of actually visualizing how various shapes of trees fit on any horse. Now yeah I have to allow that right now he`s out of condition, fat, winter coated, not moving and not under saddle but at least this way there`s a point of reference that even I can understand. I like the concept of Dennis Lane`s system but as a end user not yet savvy to the highly contentious and involved craft of saddle fitting I`m looking for way to set myself and my horse up for success as they say. Down the road if we work out and grow as a team then I`d likely invest in a custom saddle.